Living in Finland


Työntekijä tai yrittäjä

Employee or entrepreneur

Residence permit

If you are a citizen of a Nordic country, EU member state, EEA member state or Switzerland and you come to work in Finland, you do not need a residence permit. Depending on your citizenship, read more on the InfoFinland page Nordic citizens or EU-citizens.

If you are a citizen of another country, you will need a residence permit for an employed person. If you are already in Finland on some other grounds, you may have a right to work even if you have not applied for a residence permit based on employment. Read more on the InfoFinland page Coming to work in Finland.

If you are not a citizen of a European Union member state, EEA member state or Switzerland and you want to engage in entrepreneurship in Finland, you will need a residence permit for an entrepreneur. More information on the residence permit for entrepreneurs can be found on the InfoFinland page Becoming an entrepreneur in Finland.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Working in FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiCity of Helsinki:
Welcome GuideEnglish

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Entrepreneur’s residence permitFinnish | Swedish | English

Residence permit extension

Apply for the permit extension online in the Enter Finland service or at a service point of the Finnish Immigration Service. Submit the application before your current residence permit expires. More information on applying for a permit extension is available on the InfoFinland page Residence permit extension.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Extending your residence permitFinnish | Swedish | English

Working and entrepreneurship in Finland

On the InfoFinland page Employment and entrepreneurship you can find a wealth of information on employment and entrepreneurship in Finland.

Finnish and Swedish language

Some employers organise Finnish language training for their employees. Ask your employer whether or not Finnish language courses are held at your workplace. The InfoFinland page Finnish and Swedish language contains information on other the possibilities for studying Finnish or Swedish.


If you would like to obtain a qualification or improve your professional expertise, you can take part in continuing education. Continuing education is provided by educational institutes, trade organisations and the Institute for Occupational Advancement, among other organisations. Many employers also train their own employees in the use of new equipment or software, for example.

Studying is more than just learning a new profession. Studying can also be a hobby. Read more on the InfoFinland page Studying as a hobby.
Basic information on continuing educationFinnish | Swedish

Social security

You can be covered by Finnish social security based on either permanent residence or work. The majority of Kela benefits require you to move to Finland permanently to be entitled to them. In addition, you must meet the same requirements for benefits as other residents of Finland.

If you move to Finland for work, you will usually get a right to Kela benefits for the duration of your employment contract even if you have a short contract.

If your wage amounts to at least €696.60 per month, you have a right to most Kela benefits. It does not matter how many hours you work per week or how long your employment contract is.

You can find more information about Finnish social security on the InfoFinland page: Finnish social security.

If you work in Finland, it is recommended to become a member of a Finnish unemployment fund. If you are a member of an unemployment fund, you can receive earnings-related daily unemployment allowance, if you become unemployed. Read more on the InfoFinland pages Trade unions and Unemployment benefit.

Social security of a person moving to FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English


Health care for employees and entrepreneurs

If you have come to Finland to work, you may be entitled to use public health services in Finland. This depends on the duration and type of your contract of employment, as well as on the country from which you have come to Finland. You can ask Kela to determine whether you are entitled to public health services. More information on public health care can be found on the InfoFinland web page Health services in Finland.

In Finland, employers have a duty to pay for preventive health care for their employees.

Entrepreneurs can organise occupational health care for themselves, if they wish. In other words, entrepreneurs are not under an obligation to arrange occupational health care for themselves. An entrepreneur is, however, required to organise occupational health care for any employees working for them.

Occupational health care can be arranged at a local health centre or, for example, private clinic.

You can find more information on the InfoFinland web page Occupational health care and on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

linkkiMinistry of Social Affairs and Health:
Occupational health careFinnish | Swedish | English

Problem situations

If you lose your job

If you have a worker’s residence permit, which only applies to working for a particular employer and you lose your job, you must apply for an entirely new worker’s residence permit or base your permit application on other grounds.

If the Finnish Immigration Service has granted you a worker’s residence permit and your employment ends before the permit, you or your employer must notify the Immigration Service in writing that employment will end.

If your worker’s residence permit has not been limited to working for a particular employer and instead applies to a specific professional field and is effective, you can switch jobs within the same field.

Problems in working life

If you face problems at your workplace, contact your supervisor first. If he or she cannot help you, contact the occupational safety officer or shop steward at your workplace. If the issue cannot be resolved at the workplace, contact your local occupational safety district or your trade union.

Information and instructions on how to get help for various problems in working life can be found on the InfoFinland page Problems in working life.